Ellen Abbott

Reporter, Syracuse

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County.  Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 

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Plans for a racino near Hancock Airport in Syracuse have hit a snag, but supporters are still optimistic.  

While domestic violence continues to be an issue in Central New York, the group that puts out the annual report to the community on domestic and sexual violence, found one bright spot in the stats. But that bright spot didn't last long.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the Air Force to let Columbia College build a new facility at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse.  If it doesn't, the college that serves many military students, will shut down.

Ellen Abbott

The Syracuse Crunch opened their season earlier this month to a record breaking crowd that watched the team win on ice made from rainwater.  The Crunch are the first professional hockey team anywhere to play on recycled rainwater.

As a youngster in Illinois, Erin Merryn learned about stranger danger and was warned about internet safety. She was taught to stay away from drugs.  The one thing she never learned about was how to deal with sex abuse, which was happening to her.

"I listened to the only message I was given," says Merryn. "And that was from the sexual predators who were raping and sexually abusing me as a child, telling me 'this is our little secret' and 'no one will believe you'."

Lawmakers in the city of Syracuse Monday unanimously voted to ban hydrofracking on city property.   Julia Walsh, from the statewide network Frack Action says this move sends a message to Albany.

The City of Syracuse is expected to say no to hydrofracking Monday.  The Common Council is expected to approve a ban on the controversial gas drilling method.

Central New Yorkers may enjoy some of the best fall colors in the country. That's the opinion of one tree expert out of the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. Click "listen" above to hear Ellen's story.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says defense cuts are coming, and they will be big.  She says at least $450 billion in cuts are expected in the next decade, and that number could go higher depending on what happens with the congressional super-committee in the coming months. 

A particular kind of  Yellow leaf you see amidst the fall foliage in New York State might not be part of the fall splash of color much longer.  Many  of the yellow leaves are ash trees, and an invasive insect is slowly munching across New York State. 

It's called the Emerald Ash Borer, and it's wiping out all ashes everywhere an infestation occurs.

Don Leopold is a tree expert at the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry and says Ash trees, which are native to New York, are prized for more than there color.

A first ever gay film festival is coming to Syracuse this weekend. Organizers hope this Equality Film Fest will be the first of a yearly event that can help raise money for the Q Center at AIDS Community Resources. 

The Q Center, which serves 250 teens each year, has been losing funding. Youth Services Director Marissa Rice hopes the film festival helps.

"We grew tremendously over the last 12 months," says Rice. "Then we lost 3 employees in our Youth Services division because of funding cuts. So we grew, but lost employees."

Ellen Abbott

22 years ago, in a shiny new mall in downtown Syracuse, the central library set up housekeeping.  But where department stores and food courts once enticed visitors, now offices and specialty shops hang their shingles and dramatic changes have also taken place in the library

 “When this library opened, there were 30 librarians,” said Elizabeth Daily, Executive Director of the Onondaga County Public Library System. “They spent time doing things like filing cards.  Now we have 17 librarians.  The work that takes up their time is totally different."

It started in January when Sharon Sherman noticed an increase in the number of complaints from tenants about bedbugs.

Sherman, the Executive Director of the Greater Syracuse Tenants Network, says the complaints came from everywhere.

"We are getting more calls from the north side of Syracuse," Sherman said. "But they are all over Syracuse, Solvay , Liverpool. There's not a place where it's not a problem right now."

Musicians will be back on stage at the Civic Center in Syracuse this weekend, as the lifeboat organization of the bankrupt Syracuse Symphony Orchestra goes on stage for a special performance.  Jon Garland, Chairman of Symphony Syracuse says it'll look like what you've seen in the past.

Now that the U.S. has frozen $32 billion in assets of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, New York Senator Chuck Schumer is looking for some of that money to go to the victims or families of Qaddafi-led terrorism.  

Schumer says the problem is many families or victims haven't gotten the compensation promised to them in a prior deal with Qaddafi. 

"Now that the tide in Libya has changed and we have frozen Qaddafi's assets, I am calling on the State Department to release those frozen assets to compensate Libyan terror victims and their families," said Schumer.

The central New York agency that helps kids who have been neglected or abused has a new home.  As WRVO's Ellen Abbott reports, the McMahon-Ryan Child Advocacy Site now brings every agency that deals with these kids under one roof.

Leonard Bernard was a platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division and saw plenty of action. 

"I saw a lot of combat," said Bernard. "We had 96 guys in my company and in 6 months 48 were killed."

It was June 20, 1967 when he suffered massive head and chest injuries while fighting in the jungles of Vietnam. He spent the next year in hospitals and was finally able to come home. At that time, the anti-war movement was escalating with everyone from college students to celebrities criticizing the government for a war that seemed unwinnable. 

The war on Triple-E in Central New York is getting some federal firepower.  New York’s senior U.S. Senator has a plan he hopes will help deal with a virus , that's transmitted by mosquitos and has become a part of our environment.

Sen. Chuck Schumer announced Tuesday a three pronged federal plan to help local officials fight Eastern Equine Encephalitis, the mosquito borne illness that killed a 4 year old Oswego County girl this summer. 

"Our local and state health departments have done a great job," said Schumer. "I have no dispute with them. They could use federal help."

Postal employees from across the country rallied Tuesday  to try to get public support for a plan that will keep the postal service operating.  As WRVO’s Ellen Abbott reports, central New York Post Office workers chose to deliver their message on the Federal Building Plaza in downtown Syracuse.

SYRACUSE, NY (wrvo) - At Syracuse's Museum of Science and Technology, you can see a small piece of the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers.

It's part of one of dozens of traveling exhibits that were set up around the state to remind people of what happened ten years ago on September 11.

WRVO's Ellen Abbott takes us on a tour. © Copyright 2011, wrvo

 

 

SYRACUSE, NY (wrvo) - Most people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on 9/11/01. Many were glued to a radio or a television. They called family and friends.

No matter where they were or what they were doing, the memory of that day rmains strong.

WRVO's Ellen Abbott caught up with some central New Yorkers recently, who told us where they were on 9/11.

 

 

 

 

 

SYRACUSE, NY (wrvo) - This weekend, a group of women will perform several community service projects in Syracuse.

WRVO's Ellen Abbott tells us the community service began with the terrorist attacks of September 11. © Copyright 2011, wrvo

 

 

SYRACUSE, NY (August 12, 2011) - Myspace. Facebook. Skype. Twitter. LinkedIn. Foursquare. Now, Google +. How much social media is too much? And do we really need another way to tell people what we're doing?

WRVO's Ellen Abbott spoke with some central New Yorkers who have been checking out Google +.

SYRACUSE, NY (August 8, 2011) - Almost 45,000 customer service and repair technicians who work for Verizon, went on strike this weekend.

As WRVO's Ellen Abbott reports, picket lines have popped up in Central New York as the strike continues.
 

SYRACUSE, NY (August 3, 2011) - Bicycles could soon have lanes to call their own in the city of Syracuse.  As WRVO's Ellen Abbott reports, plans for a bike infrastructure are taking shape.
 

SYRACUSE, NY (August 2, 2011)- Soon, Carousel Center will be no more. The Syracuse mall's owner, Pyramid, will change the name to Destiny USA sometime soon.

It's a sign that the mega mall project is moving forward again, even if it's not the luxury resort and entertainment destination that was the original plan.

Pyramid is ramping up its effort to sell the mall's expansion to the press and public. The new push began this week, with the first of several tours of the mall's long-delayed new wing.

WRVO's Ellen Abbott reports.
 

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